Best Case Scenario

Hi RXCLP blog readers, Sean here again… (Apologies for the layout here. I’ve tried to fix it, but WordPress won’t let me. It happens every so often. Sigh.)
Anyway, I was asked a question the other day by one of our donators. He wrote:
I know you have been working on this project for years. You have shown extreme dedication and passion to not only the fan-base but to the characters and their relationship. I know it isn’t a good idea to get ahead of ourselves. But what do you ultimately want to accomplish with this? Do you want CAPCOM to seriously consider this pairing for future Street Fighter games and comics? Do you want the world to get behind this as Ryu and Chun-Li become the most unstoppable fighting couple? Or heck, do you want Capcom to publish this? Ultimately, what is your “best-case scenario” with this project?
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When I started this project and was naive about the effects of romantic relationships on a game like “Street Fighter”, I could have answered these questions quickly, but now, knowing what I know of CAPCOM, UDON, graphic novel production, Street Fighter: Legacy, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, and the effects a romantic relationship can have on a fighting game, I find myself struggling for answers.
Since my blog entry “Could it be that simple???”, I’ve come to realise having a married couple as selectable characters in a game where they can be chosen as opponents for one another, and people can watch as they beat the heck out of each other, just isn’t right. Some people may be cool with it, but I’m finding more and more that I’m not.  Some people say, well… just pretend they’re sparring. Sorry, but you only have to watch a couple of minutes of Street Fighter and see the heavy blows the characters land on each other to realise these characters are doing everything but sparring.
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So… Do [I] want CAPCOM to seriously consider [Ryu/Chun-LI] for future Street Fighter games…?
Yes and no. If there was a game like Namco X Capcom or something else where Ryu and Chun-Li are permanent teammates that always worked together and never fiercely fought one another, then… YES!.  But do I want them married in anything like the actual “Street Fighter” games where they are punishing each other with fierce punches, kicks and ki-based attacks?  I’m leaning heavily towards no. Knowing humanity as I do, the wife-beating jokes would never stop and CAPCOM does not need that problem added to an already violent game.
As for the other half of this question, since I started this project, it has never been my wish to alter UDON’s chosen paths for their Street Fighter stories. They have worked very hard to do what they’ve done so far and they have every right to keep doing it. It’s the story they want to tell, or perhaps the only story they CAN tell. Who knows what their long term plans are or what rules they are under with CAPCOM.
So… Do [I] want CAPCOM [and UDON] to seriously consider [Ryu/Chun-Li] for future Street Fighter…comics?
Yes!  But I want from them exactly what my teams and I are producing through this project: a post Street Fighter III “What if…?” story (or even better a “What if…?” animated movie!!!) that explores the idea of Ryu and Chun-Li together and ends happily with the two of them…together. I have no desire to alter the course of UDON’s river of work or CAPCOM’s for that matter. I would just like them to dig an inlet in the form of a single project where Ryu/Chun-Li fans can play,  swim, and be satisfied.
But that said…
If there is one thing I would really love to accomplish…
Joey Ansah has given Street Fighter fans a great gift in the form of Street Fighter Assasin’s Fist, and if popularity and money allow his work to continue all the way past the World Warrior tournament, up through Street Fighter IV and S.I.N., all the way to the end of Street Fighter III, it would be my greatest hope, because of the book my people and I are producing here, that instead of the last Street Fighter story being Gill’s and the Illuminati’s defeat and Ryu walking off into the sunset alone (or heaven forbid with Sakura! ARGH!), there would be one more story to tell: the story my teams and I are about to tell you all in a few months time starting on February 14th, 2015. The story we’ve titled:
SF the heart of battle LOGO
Do I want CAPCOM to publish this book?
Of course I would. But right now I don’t think CAPCOM is ready to take the risk on any Ryu/Chun-Li…um…project (HA!) until the fan waters are truly tested. And if CAPCOM made a product themselves, they could mess it up and take a lot of negative heat from fans, maybe even freak some fans out!  So, since I can’t live without this book existing, I’ll happily test the waters for them.
Do I want people to go nuts over the great great book my teams and I are producing? Of course I do. Would I love it, if this great book my teams and I are producing influenced the Street Fighter games like Masaomi Nakahira’s mangas did in the past? You bet. Would I go crazy with fan love if UDON said, “Hey we love this, can we publish it?” Yeah. Would I thrill if CAPCOM made Ryu and Chun-Li a couple in one medium or another (maybe with another infamous shower scene–HA!) as a result of my work. Sure.
But here’s the thing. There is a another great book called…
And in this great book, the author Hugh MacLeod writes:
Frankly I think you’re better off doing something on the assumption that you will not be rewarded for it, that it will not receive the recognition it deserves, that it will not be worth the time and effort invested in it.
The obvious advantage to this angle is, of course, if anything good comes of it, then it’s an added bonus.
The second, more subtle and profound advantage is that by scuppering all hope of worldly and social betterment from the creative act, you are finally left with only one question to answer: Do you make this damn thing exist or not?
And once you can answer that truthfully for yourself, the rest is easy.
I’ve decided to make this book exist. That’s enough for me. I’ll let the world decide what to do with it.
More next time!

4 thoughts on “Best Case Scenario

  1. Jeff Mangini says:

    Dude, there’s nothing wrong with making Ryu and Chun-Li a couple in the SF games. That’s ridiculous. Have you played Star Gladiator? You remember Hayato and June? Those two are a couple. They even had a child together. And look at the game they’re in. Players can make them cut each other up with plasma-based weapons like two bitter enemies in a Star Wars movie. Where were all the wife-killing jokes? Or the abortion jokes? Where were all the insecure men and women complaining about spousal abuse? Gamers never had a problem with it, and apparently neither did Capcom. You know why? Because we’re smart enough to know that gameplay is meaningless. Would you rather see Chun-Li hook up with a wimpy civilian who can’t kick her ass? Because for any strong woman, I think that’s even more offensive. Ryu and Chun-Li beating the crap out of each other is not a big deal. If you think it is, you might as well say it’s wrong for Ryu to have friends like Ken and Sakura in SF because he can pulverize them with Shin Shoryukens too. Why stop at limiting the violence between couples, right?

    • First of all, Jeff, thanks for commenting. The majority of Ryu/Chun-Li fans are so quiet. It is wonderful to have some discussion here. Your comment really made me think. While I believe Star Gladiators, Hayato, and Jun are not the best example because they are obscure compared to Street Fighter, Ryu, and Chun-Li who are more mainstream. And there is also the fact (?) that there is no mainstream fighting game that has had characters who we’re not married to begin with get married over the course of the series (to my knowledge, please prove me wrong if you can!), you do have a point. One of the advantages of a fictional couple like Ryu and Chun-Li, much like the Addams family (previous blog entry) is that if they go full force on each other, even with Chun-Li’s kids in the equation, if the author or game says they are ok afterwards, they are. In reality, on the other hand, if you and your wife decided to go full force on each other, there is a much higher possibility for a trip to the hospital or even death and children having to do without their mother and/or father for a few days or indefinitely. I remember a scene from the Addams family movie where Wednesday put Pugsly in an electric chair and fried him, but he was fine later in the movie. This is the kind of suspension of reality a gamer can make. I guess I’m guilty of imposing too much reality on this fictional relationship. I think I was putting to much stock in the outside observer, someone who would freak out at the thought of a married couple in a game beating the hell out of each other, someone not able or not having enough information to separate fact from fiction. My bad (?), but that said, can you offer an explanation why there have been no marriages in any mainstream/well-known fighting games between characters who were not married when the series began? Or has there been? I look forward to having my mind changed by your response. And thank you very much again for commenting!

  2. Jeff Mangini says:

    You’re welcome. I’m glad I gave you all a new perspective.

    I’ve got plenty of examples. Look at Mortal Kombat. Johnny Cage and Sonya got together in MK9. Once Netherrealm announced MKX this year, they revealed they had a daughter named Cassie. She’s now set to be a playable character. Liu Kang could have married Kitana, but it was implied in MK4 that accepting her proposal would have prevented him from being Earthrrealm’s protector. But he loves her all the same, and in the end, that’s what counts most. Ky Kiske and Dizzy from Guilty Gear are also in a relationship. The only reason they’re not married is because Dizzy’s a gear, and people in that universe are generally bigoted towards her race. No one’s going to arrange a formal wedding for them. But they are still together nonetheless, and they even had a son by GG2: Overture. To a lesser extent, Killer Instinct has a couple as well. KI2 had an optional ending where Tusk and Maya got married, depending on the actions you took in Arcade Mode. Although it’s not canon at this point now that they confirmed TJ Combo’s still alive, Iron Galaxy could always revisit that relationship with the new KI in Season 2. And there are plenty more examples of SNK characters that aren’t married to each other, but would jump at the chance if given the opportunity.

    So it doesn’t matter how often you see people beating each other up in fighting games. It has no bearing on how they actually feel about one another. In most cases when a pair of lovers fight, it’s either a filler match that didn’t happen, or a match that happened for a good reason. As far as SF characters are concerned, not quitting their profession is reason enough. Ryu and Chun-Li are expert martial-artists with long-term enemies that continue to threaten their lives and everyone they care about. If they wanted to be together, they’d have to make it a responsibility to test themselves against each other so they stay at peak condition. As painful as it is, they should be grateful for every hit they trade with each other, because they need it. A relationship like that is not going to last if either allows the other to get soft. It’s like having a deadbeat husband who always drinks instead of taking care of his wife and kids.

    • Thank you again, Jeff! All wonderful valid points. I’ve added this reply to the blog entry currently on the front page titled “You Win”, a blog entry you inspired. I hope you’ll check it out. I also hope you’ll be able to throw some cash donation or art our way so we can include you in the credits of our book! Regardless of your decision on that front, thanks for everything!

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